The Portland Trail Blazers have a date with destiny in 2023. Unfortunately “destiny” means a losing record and a trip to the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery, their second straight year hoping for ping-pong ball luck. Starting the year with Jerami Grant and Josh Hart in tow, alongside starters Jusuf Nurkic, Anfernee Simons, and Damian Lillard, this wasn’t supposed to happen. The Blazers hoped to be fighting for the second or third best record in the Western Conference, not the fifth-worst record in the entire NBA...a mark that they’re defending by listing an entire roster’s worth of players on the injury report. This locker room was supposed to be measuring for rings, not ringing up G League teams, asking for spare players to fill out the roster.
Tonight the Blazers face the San Antonio Spurs in what can charitably be described as a game nobody wants to win. Portland owns 33 victories for the season, San Antonio 20. Each is trying to protect their lottery turf. On Twitter, I jokingly mentioned that this could be the first game in NBA history in which each team defended the opposite hoop, trying to keep the other from scoring points for them “accidentally”. Either that or we’ll see 120 straight 24-second violations as both rosters sat around the mid-court logo like the world’s most expensive campfire outing.
In the face of this—with none of us knowing just who will start for the Blazers, let alone play if they’re at risk of actually winning—we’ll pose the question to you. How do you feel about Tankapalooza, 2023. Are you accepting it? Enjoying it? Are you annoyed by it? Or are you one of those folks who think the Blazers should have started this sooner?
Leave a comment below and share your gut reaction to the end of the season sprint towards oblivion. We’re curious as to where the fan base stands.